How to Teach Your Child to be an Independent Learner

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(Grassroots Newswire) – As a parent, it’s natural to feel compelled to remind your child to finish his/her homework, to offer assistance when he/she gets stumped by a math problem or provide editing help on that essay or book report. However, as your child nears middle and high school, it becomes increasingly important to help him/her make the transition from doing structured, supervised homework to becoming an independent learner capable of managing his/her time, thinking critically and taking initiative.
How can parents help their children become independent and lifelong learners? Ofra Weinberg, operator of the Encino Huntington Learning Center, offers the following tips:
Discuss your child’s homework assignment to ensure he/she understands what is required. Ask your child to explain to you what has been assigned and what the finished product must look like or consist of. If he/she has trouble conveying this, try asking questions that may help clear up confusion. (What did your teacher say about the assignment in class today? What does the first part of the assignment say? Does this problem look similar to one you’ve solved before? Do you have everything you need to complete the assignment?)
Have your child work independently first before turning to you for help. At homework-time, rather than dive into your child’s assignment together, encourage your child to attempt it on his/her own first. If he/she doesn’t know how to do a problem, have him/her skip it and move on to the next one.
Teach your child to be resourceful. If your child asks you how to spell a word, help him/her look it up in the dictionary. If he/she needs to research a topic, be sure he/she has gotten to know the neighborhood or school librarian. Teaching your child to make use of school and community resources is good preparation for what will be expected of him/her in middle and high school.
Provide guidance, not answers. When your child requests assistance, remember that your job is not to give him/her the answer but help your child get the answer. Avoid being overly involved in the homework process but be available to answer questions or provide clarification.
Students who are independent learners are self-motivated, curious and take responsibility for their own learning. They value the process of learning and strive to understand the “why” and the “how” of new concepts and knowledge. If your child struggles to complete homework independently or spends a significant amount of time on homework but yields little results, call Huntington for help. We can conduct a diagnostic evaluation of your child to uncover the root of the problem and create a customized program that focuses on the areas where your child needs the most assistance.

For more information, please contact Ofra Weinberg at (818) 907-5557.

About Huntington Learning Center

Founded in 1977, Huntington Learning Center is the nation’s longest-running supplemental education service provider. Today they continue to be an industry leader providing instruction in reading, writing, spelling, phonics, mathematics and study skills as well as SAT and ACT preparation to tens of thousands of students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Huntington prides itself on its unparalleled programs that help parents, caregivers and educators identify the gaps in skills and knowledge that can limit learning potential. Huntington’s personalized programs of instruction enable children to excel. To learn more or to locate a center near you, call (800) CAN LEARN.

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